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What's the difference between Email Broadcasts, Email Sequences, and Workflows?

Asked by a Bento Partner via a support ticket.
We get this question a bunch! Here's the simple breakdown of each feature to make it clearer when to use each.

If you want to send a templated email to many people all at once (i.e a traditional newsletter) use Email Broadcast
Email Broadcasts are one-off sends to a large group of visitors in your account. You have full control over exactly who will get your message AND how fast the message is delivered to that audience (via our batches feature). Additionally, unlike other providers, you can actually pause and edit OR cancel your messages mid-send if you do utilise batches. Great if you spot a quick mistake or you're monitoring for deliverability! You will be able to monitor unsubscribes and spam reports LIVE as the send is going on.

If you want to send a sequence of personalised emails over time use Email Sequences
Email Sequences are a linear set of emails that go to users over a period of time (i.e 3 emails delivered over 9 days). You have full control over the timing of each email and can stretch them out over any period of time. Email Sequences are generally designed to be used for Welcome Series, Abandon Cart sequences, Onboarding flows, and other campaigns where you expect users to get every single email and be informed. You may also set these to send to all visitors regardless of their unsubscribed status — perfect for transactional emails.
To add people to a sequence you have a few options:
  • Create a Bulk Operation and import a segment of your subscribers.
  • Create a Workflow and add an action called "Add To Sequence" that triggers based on an event. 
  • (Deprecated) Create a Reaction based on a specific tag.
  • (Deprecated) Add an Event Matcher to the email sequence during setup under "Advanced Settings".
Anonymous visitors can and will be added to a sequence but will not get any emails until their profile has an email identified for them. Some users like to do this to ensure that previous behaviour queues them up for future emails. 
You can also stop a visitor from getting more emails by configuring it to stop when they receive specific tags (canceled tags and completed tags).
Visitors can only join a sequence once unless they have a completed tag then they may start again.

If you want to send instant, behaviour-driven emails use Workflows
Workflows process within 1-3 seconds and are instant based on the events that visitors are triggering on your website. Whether they are subscribing via a form, visiting a page, abandoning a cart, or sending a chat message — you can trigger it!
Because Workflows are real-time you cannot bulk import visitors into them, they must trigger an action to begin.
Why would someone use Workflows? If you're looking to pull off more advanced automations and wish to have a single, high level view to know exactly what is happening on your site then you'll want to use Workflows. Power users in Bento will have a "Master Workflow" with every single trigger inside it — sending emails, updating profiles, triggering chats. Having it all in one place makes it easier to manage and amend. Additionally, you have more control over the repeatability of a Workflow. Personally, I do almost everything in Workflows today! 

Hope the above helps!
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